British YouTuber Charlie McDonnell, also known as charlieissocoollike, is back on the platform for the first time since coming out of trance.
McDonnell purged his channel after withdrawing from the public eye several years ago before later publicly coming out as trans in October 2022.
However, she made a surprise return to YouTube on Thursday (Jan 20) with a ‘reprise’ Q&A video.
McDonnell confirmed that she uses the pronouns she/they and that she started hormone replacement therapy four months ago. She added that her name is Charlie, which she plans to legalize.
McDonnell admitted that she’s been “away for quite a while” and “a lot has changed,” but she’s “interested in kind of dipping her toe back into the YouTube waters.”
“I felt like maybe when I come back, maybe I’ll enjoy doing it again,” she said.
McDonnell, who was one of the first major YouTube stars and the first in the UK to reach one million subscribers, said their public persona was part of what prevented them from embracing their identity.
Her YouTube channel maintained more than 2.11 million subscribers despite her previous retirement.
She said growing hair during the Covid-19 pandemic “was a pretty good story”, noting that many people did it at the time because “people couldn’t go out and get a haircut”.
McDonnell clarified that she purged old content from her social media channels to “make sure that any online space that I control represents me as the person that I am now.”
She continued: “I didn’t want them [her old videos] to be what people saw when they Googled my name, and I just hope people respect that decision.”
This also included refusing to rewrite what she had previously done on YouTube, such as Fun Science.
She admitted that transphobes made her anxious about returning to social media and generally nervous about coming back.
“I’m fine… I feel good, I feel more confident than ever,” McDonnell said.
“I’m excited about my life right now.”
People welcomed her back online, saying they were glad to see her and now what”Charlie is even cooler“.
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Charlie McDonnell returns to YouTube after proudly coming out as trans: ‘A lot’s changed’